- Discover how to self-massage the muscles that cause forearm stress, tension and pain so that you can get back to doing what you love, quicker.
- Learn my #1 tool for relieving pain so that you can save yourself hours of therapy, stretching and exercising.
- Understand my 5-Step framework for restoring balance which means you can have more health, happiness and vitality!
Now you can listen to me on the go. I've just released my new Playbook for Pain Relief Podcast. With new episodes Monday-Friday every week, I'm here as your therapist and coach to share my insights to help you transform your stress, tension and pain into health, happiness and vitality.
Click on the image to listen in! ******
- Forearm stress, tension or pain
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Arm and/or finger numbness and tingling
- Raynaud's disease
- Golfer's elbow
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- De Quervain's tenosynovitis
Anatomy of the Forearm
The forearm consists of a posterior compartment and an anterior compartment. If you imagine your hand placed upon a computer mouse, the upper part of the forearm is the posterior compartment and the lower part is the anterior compartment.
Each of these is then divided in superficial and deep compartments. Essentially, there are 12 muscles that comprise the posterior compartment, 8 muscles that comprise the anterior compartment and all contribute to movements involving the elbow, wrist and fingers.
There are three primary nerves - the radial, ulnar and median - that travel along the forearm for muscular control and sensory feedback. The origin of these nerves can be traced to the cervical portion of the spine, traveling from the spinal cord into the brachial plexus, from which further nerve divisions travel to the arm, shoulder and upper back.
The image below is highlighting common causes of what is known as Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS). All three types of scenario are illustrating a compression of the nerves within, or from, the brachial plexus.
If you've been reading my blog posts up to this point... guess what I'm going to disclose as being the primary cause of wrist and elbow pain!
For as long as we continue to do as we've always done (several hours a day positioning the shoulders in a rounded posture, with the mid-back curved forward and the head driving forward also) then we will continue to get what we've always got (bad posture) and it can only lead to further complications as we age. Just go back to the symptoms list above to get an idea of the types of conditions that can arise due to these imbalances.
As I share in my new book The 15-Step Playbook for Pain Relief, my #1 tool to conquer postural imbalances, is to apply what I call postural awareness. This is simply a moment-by-moment physical and mental check to bring your attention to your alignment. Once you've drawn your attention, then make a correction if necessary and continue to do this again and again, indefinitely.
This is so important with respect to the health and performance of your lower arm, that I'm going to repeat that again. The #1 cause of forearm related pain and numbness is arising from poor shoulder and neck alignment. Your goals should include massaging and stretching of the relevant short-tight muscles, strengthening of the relevant long-weak muscles, and "WHAM!" you automatically start to alleviate the pressure off the brachial plexus and its nerve pathways.
(HINT - see my list of related blog posts below which delve into stretches and strengthening exercises!)
Restoring Balance in 5-Steps
Move - increase your body temperature and blood flow to all your muscles.
MASSAGE - using a partner, lacrosse ball or foam roller to agitate the muscles.
Mobilize - move the joints in their full range of motion.
Stretch - focus on lengthening the short-tight muscles.
Corrective Exercise - focus on strengthening the long-weak muscles.
This week I'm teaching you how to perform self-massage of the forearm musculature to relieve tired, tense and overworked muscles.
My prescription is to perform this self-massage for 2-5 minutes on each compartment of the forearm. Remember intensity is the shortcut to results. In this case, the intensity comes from the depth of massage coupled with the frequency of repetitions. I suggest the following: MAJOR SYMPTOMS - Self-massage 2-3 times per day. MINOR SYMPTOMS - Self-massage 1 time each day NO SYMPTOMS - Self-massage every 2-to-4 weeks.
You may also enjoy reading these related blog posts: My secret weapon to avoid pain and arm numbness
Yours In Muscle Health,
Jason Barlow, RMT
P.S. Download my FREE eBook The 15-Step Playbook for Pain Relief!
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